The Wildezine

My Skin is Black, My Heart is Human

Mikey Parker, Guest Artist

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When you look at me, what do you see?
Black skin. Which is more brown than black
But whatever.
When you look at me, what do you think?
Do the clothes I’m wearing, or the way I
Talk and walk confuse you? Startle you? My bad.
Does my rich melanin, and my brand new
Nike hoodie make you want to clutch your
Purse, or cross the street?
If I wear a hood, does that mean I’m from
The hood? If my pants are low does that mean
I’m not good? Maybe I just don’t have a belt.
When you think of me, what do you say?
Am I lazy, or stupid? Maybe a jock, am I
Ruthless? Am I a savage because I could leave
You toothless? Nah, I just chill.
When you think of my people, what comes to mind?
Is it segregation and slavery, or innovation and bravery?
Because people who look like me have done a lot
More than pick cotton, it’s says they’re forgotten.
Don’t worry, I’m not mad Just sad.
Because when I see you see me, you give
Me the fakest little smirk, make sure that you
clutch your purse, and speed up a little
Out of fear of getting hurt. Sometimes I feel like
This beautiful brown skin is a curse, but it’s not.
It’s a blessing from God, while a target for cops.
It’s a less paying job, systematically robbed.
It hurts, and it throbs, but I would never trade
It for anything.
I use it as motivation. Since I’m black, I’ll change the Nation.
Change the youth, start conversation.
I’m gonna do so much to unite the races,
A fellowship of people from different places.
I can’t wait, but hold up a cop just pulled
Me over and ran my plates.
I was speeding, running late.
He asks “License and registration”
I’m only 18, nervous and shaking
I reach for the glove compartment
And he shoots without hesitation.
Life is fading… heavens waiting
A hole in my chest is caving.
You might ask why did he shoot?
Because he assumed that black = goon.
So, that’s why I asked all these questions
In this room. So you know who I am and
Never assume.
Im black, I rap, I hoop, and I chill with my
I’m not lazy, stupid or violent
Just a young man gone too soon, forever silenced
So who will tell my story?
It has to be the youth
It’s our responsibility to tell the kids the truth
It starts with people here, the ones like me and you
Spread the love, don’t assume.
I know my skin’s black so people don’t shoot.
There’s a better way, it’s called compassion
Understand our stories are different, but we’re all worthy of love
Just listen to me talk instead of fearing when I walk,
Because I’m just a Black boy trying to get home.

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2 Responses to “My Skin is Black, My Heart is Human”

  1. Christian McDaniel on May 27th, 2018 6:54 pm

    This is a great piece of writing Malakai! When reading this I can’t help but thinking of the great writers of the Harlem Renaissance. This is very powerful writing and I think it communicates a very important message. Racism in America is still a serious issue, and you do a great job of capturing this idea.

  2. Ryan on October 21st, 2018 10:03 pm

    Wow Mikey, as a young black man I can relate to this article. What you said speaks to me and is very deep. I appreciate you taking the time to write thi article.

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My Skin is Black, My Heart is Human